Malawi President Joyce Banda has fired Dr. Charles Matabwa as Admarc CEO and replaced him with Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) director of economic affairs and ex-diplomat Dr. Jerry Jana.
Some senior managers at the State-owned farm produce marketer, the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), said Matabwa received the letter terminating his services dated May 16 2012 and that Jana reported for work on Monday this week.
Before joining PP, Jana served, among other public portfolios, as Malawiâ€™s ambassador and Sadc coordinator in Brussels, Belgium.
“As we are speaking, he [Jana] is in the office. He reported for work on Monday,” said a source on Wednesday.
Â Matabwaâ€™s contract, which has been cut short, was running through 2014, according to the source.
Said the source: “Basically, contracts for Admarc CEOs are three years, but Matabwaâ€™s contract, which has been terminated, was for four years. So, government says while looking at the contractual obligation, in this regard, the fourth year will not be considered.”
Admarc board chairperson Ernest Malenga confirmed in an interview that government terminated the services of Matabwa and appointed Jana in his stead.
On whether the Admarc board was involved in the decision, Malenga said: “The board is appointed by government. There is an appointing authority and the board only gives advice to management.
“What you have heard is true that government decided to terminate the contract of the chief executive officer who was there and a new chief executive officer was appointed. On what reasons, I cannot answer.”
â€˜I donâ€™t know why Iâ€™ve been firedâ€™
Matabwa also confirmed receiving a letter from government terminating his services and that he was ordered to surrender all company property in his custody.
Said Matabwa: “I donâ€™t know [why I have been fired], but what the letter said was that government had decided to terminate my services from 16th May and that I will be given a three monthsâ€™ salary as notice and that I should return whatever was meant for government, which was the car, which I did return immediately.â€
But Matabwa, who said he is not bitter that he has not completed his four-year contract, said it is surprising that there is no word from government on what happens to the two years remaining on his contract.
Said Matabwa: “When you are employed, you are fortunate to work in that capacity; but if they want to fire you, they do that without any warning. I am happy I was given that opportunity to work in that capacity, but I have written government [for them] to explain what will happen to the two years and I am still waiting for the response.”
A secretary at Admarc said Jana was in a meeting and asked for a questionnaire which was not immediately responded to.